I was quoted £800 to transform my tired dining room but I did it myself for less than £100, it looks so professional | The Sun

IT’S easy to overlook dining rooms and focus on bedrooms or bathrooms for DIY projects instead, leaving eating spaces to look run down and plain. 

However, one mum of two has transformed her dining area into a stunning Victorian-style space – and it cost her under £100.

Gabi Welsh, 42 from Somerset who is a support worker with two children aged 11 and 12, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “My dining room was looking run down. The pink walls had marks on them and I wanted to update the area.

“I got inspired to transform the space after browsing Facebook DIY groups online. 

“The design inspiration came from Victorian houses and I decided to use a dark colour palette with shades of grey and blue, complemented by a wooden bench as a seating area.

“I also wanted to add more texture to the room which is why I added coving to the tops of the walls and added panels to one of the walls using MDF.

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“I got most of my supplies from B&Q and Home Bargains. The pack of coving was £30, and the MDF board was £23. Cutting the board into strips was an additional £10 and this is a service they do for you in B&Q. 

“I got decorative pine beading for £21 and two bags of multi-finish plaster for just £10 – they were discounted because the bags were ripped!

“I picked up No Nails glue for £8 in total and decorating chalk for £1.50. I didn’t need to get any paint because I recycled and mixed what I already had in my home. 2.5l of paint in a similar colour from Wilko would have cost me £26.”

Now that Gabi had her supplies, it was time to get to work.

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She says: “We had wallpaper up in the dining room and this needed to be removed from the walls. This was the biggest challenge – there were four layers of paper and the task required an entire day of scraping.

“Once the walls were clean I skimmed them, and once they were dry I fitted the coving to the ceiling. This took time as I had to measure carefully and cut the coving to exactly the right side. 

“Next I worked on the panelling, fitting the MDF panels to the wall and pinning them in place to allow the glue to dry.

“The panels I used were 120 x 7cm and one 6mm sheet from B&Q covered all of the walls.I found that B&Q was the cheapest option to buy the panels – from one 240 x 120cm sheet we had about 33 panels, and I used nearly all of them. I left between 38cm and 40cm between each panel.

“I filled in the gaps on the panelling with decorating chalk, then left it to dry for 24 hours. After this timeframe, the panelling was ready for its primer coat and the walls could have a mist coat applied.

“At the end, I painted it all with two coats of chalk paint. I recycled two different paints to get the dark grey colour. The project was then done and I’m very happy with the finished result.

“I took everything slowly as I am not a professional. I am taking a plastering course and so my work on the walls saved me around £800. 

“The course itself is challenging, but for this project, I didn’t need to use any tips or hacks. It was a very easy project and I believe it could be a nice little project for anyone who is a little handy.”

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: "Gabi has completely transformed her space for a surprisingly low price! It’s impressive that she has managed to make the room look so different with just a few cheap supplies from B&Q."

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